What Texas Farmers Told us about GMOs

I was honored to be invited to the Field to Fork event presented by Water Grows and the Texas Corn Producers on June 12th, 2018.  These two organizations along with the USDA-NRCS came together to spread awareness around Texas Farmers and their current conservation practices.

The event was held at the Schronk family farm, located off of I-35 between Austin and Dallas in a small town called Hillsboro, TX.  The Schronk family is one of the larger corn producers in the state, with over 6,000 acres of farmland -- much of which is leased to them and share cropped with other landowners.  The primary crops grown on their farm are corn, wheat and cotton. Mr Schronk lives on the farm with his wife and two children, and he comes from a family of Texas farmers.

 

During the event, guests were served a four course farm-to-table dinner with fresh produce from the farm.  The farmers & representatives from the Texas Corn Producers and Water Grows shared information throughout the meal on the farming process, conservation and other more controversial topics such as the subject GMOs and stereotypes around corporate farming. Perhaps the most interesting comparison made at the dinner, was seen when Mr. Schronk showed two ears of corn -- one GMO and one non-GMO.  The GMO corn was a higher quality, larger crop, while the non GMO corn was often times rotted and unusable. As explained, the crop with GMOs actual require less water and pesticides to grow. Interesting, considering one of the biggest problems modern farmers face is conservation of valuable resources, and sustainability.

 

Learning from the source is always important, especially when it comes to subject matters that can affect your health.  To learn more about farming practices and sourcing local crops, you can visit the USDA, Texas Corn Producers and Water Grows sites.


 

 

Celebrating Cinco with Cayman Jack #CincodeCayman

Thanks to Cayman Jack for sponsoring this blog post!

Cinco de Mayo 2018 was a time for celebration that also happened to coincide with the famous Kentucky Derby Horse Race.  To celebrate, we headed to a party with one of our favorite premium prepared cocktails, the Cayman Jack Margarita.

The event was held at one of the top restaurants in Austin, Emmer & Rye, where top chef Kevin Fink runs a tight ship. Guests sampled decadent bites off the menu, including an exclusive red snapper dish created just for #CincodeCayman.  The handcrafted Cayman margaritas were the perfect compliment to our Cinco feast and paired well with the fish and grain dishes Emmer served.  We couldn’t resist trying multiple items from the table-side dim-sum service and didn’t stop until dessert was on the table.

By the end of the meal, everyone was completely satisfied. You’d honestly be surprised how filling dim-sum plates can actually be.  

Not only are the margaritas delicious, but they are served with the utmost care and good will. Thank you Cayman for showing love to our Austin community!

Follow them on Instagram & Twitter @CaymanJack

 

 

Outstanding in the Field: Yonder Way Farm

Founded in 1999, Outstanding in the Field was one of the first to bring farm-to-table dining into the scene.  Founder, Jim Denevan, conceptualized a communal dining series that now reaches over 100+ locations across the world.  From white sandy beaches to Texas ranches, this team has done it all.  Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to attend two of the dinner experiences:  one at Agritopia outside of Phoenix, AZ and another right outside of Austin, TX at the Yonder Way Farm in Fayetteville.  

Both dinners were absolutely breathtaking and featured local talent as the evening's Chef.  The 200 person long table setting was adorned with wine, and a host of plates small to large.  Prior to the dinner, a cocktail reception was held in the field with hors d'oeuvres and wine.  Guests had the opportunity to explore the farm and witnessed the farmers kids running playfully through the fields.  As the last course was served, the sun began to set and I couldn't help but grab my camera to snap several of the photos you see below.  Who would've imagined a mild February day in Texas to be so magnificent. 

If you're interested in attending a future Outstanding in the field dinner, we recommend that you stay tuned to their site.  Dinner locations are released regularly, and you won't want to miss out on this opportunity.

http://www.outstandinginthefield.com/event-list

Paul Qui Opens New Sushi Concept, Kuneho

James Beard Award Winner, Paul Qui, began 2017 with a splash by opening Kuneho in replace of his shuttered restaurant Qui.  The latest concept will offer patrons Japanese small plates with Texan and Filipino influences.  Chef de cuisine, Mia Li, helped Paul curate the menu.  Dishes ranged from fried velveeta cheese rolls, to salmon butter sushi bites.  We highlighted our top five 'must orders' below.

  1. Black Seabream Crudo
  2. Kare Kare
  3. Kim-Chi
  4. Salmon Butter *Personal Favorite*
  5. Matcha Mochi for Dessert

Qui has three other successful concepts in the Austin area, including Otoko (inside the South Congress Hotel), East Side King and Thai Kun.  

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya Now Open in East Austin

Ramen Tatsu-Ya's newest concept, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, opened this past week.  The restaurant combines Texas BBQ with signature ramen dishes, to create the perfect comfort food for a cold (or seasonally warm) January day.  We dined with table of six of Austin top foodies, and tasted almost the entire menu.  Highlighted are our 'must-order' meals.

  • Matcha Painkiller
    • Comes in a kitty glass, need I say more :)
  • BBQ Boat: Pork & Brisket
  • Scallop Skewers
  • Gauca-Poke
    • Can't go wrong with poke, ever!
  • TX Butter Tsukemen Ramen,
    • Dipping broth with brisket, definitely our fave!
  • Roasted Banana Pudding 

*Note the restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday.  They do not accept reservations, and are dine-in only at this time.*